Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 6 The BIG drive over 800km

David and I were awake at dawn, he decided to go out and get early AM shots, but as I had no clothes prepared, I headed back to bed. David woke me up later to get ready so we all could try for the painted desert. ALAS. The roads were and remain closed. The road to the Dog fence, part of the Oodnadatta track, was closed, but we did get to the dog fence. We were going to head across from there to the breakaways but the road was a thin crust layer hiding a car eating bog, so we abandoned the attempt and headed back for the safety of the tar in Coober Pedy. You can see places where people have attempted to drive in the mire, but all they have done is chewed up the road.

Oodnadatta track car eating bogOodnadatta trackOodnadatta track closed just further up

Breakaways road what is left
Headed north, checking all the side roads to the Painted Desert.. All had the red sign... :-( Suddenly one road to the breakaways was NOT closed. We took that. The breakaways are not as spectacular, but still awesome and we got a wow from our traveller. YAY. Only HDR will bring out the colours here as it was late morning. On the way back the the main road, David spotted a bearded Dragon, a bright yellow coloured one. I grabbed my camera, slowing myself down and tore after him. He allowed us a second to photography him before running off. I was after him. I caught in at a bush were he became flat like a dinner plate and hissed... I was not deterred. I wanted to see his condition. We compromimised and I got my close look. He turned black in my hands and puffed out his beard... I saw he had ticks but not too many, and he was missing front toes but he was in good health, a good weight and almost fully shed. We left him in his bush hurling abuse at us..

Happy we headed north. A big hop to Marla which was our breakfast point. One the way some local indiginous people had a car in the centre of the highway and the lady was getting out of the car as we drove up. She laid a mat down and laid down next to the car. We were flagged down. 4 men and one woman... hmmm suspiciously we pulled up, but will all doors locked. They alledge that the car had a flat battery but most likely run out of fuel.. We know there are schemes to get into a car to get a lift or just take the car, so we just said we would tell the next roadhouse.
The next roadhouse (Cadney Homestead) told us what we already knew. Yes, it was a scam, yes they know about it and no, do not call the cops.

Glad we took precautions.

We soldiered on...

Marla was another place that will never change. Least the machine coffee is drinkable. The lady makes a mean scrambled eggs. I had to gedt stuff from the supermarket and was 20c short.The lady there had a slush fund so she was happy to take just the $20. YAY.

Coober Pedy direct to the border is 415km but we had the long side trips so David got me to drive to the border so he could nap. Marla to the border is 180km then another 336km to Yulara.

Stopped at the border for the border sign photo and there was a flock of wild Zebra finches. I just had to borrow David's long lens as these little birds are very flighty. All you had to do was walk or drive past and they all vanished. I was lucky to get a few shots.

Now in the Northern Territory. The sky is all clouded over.. it is humid. Sigh
Pleasant stop at the Erldunda roadhouse. Many people here, queues for petrol. Big store and lots of selection. Coffee is in the Bar though.. :-(

The rest tomorrow.. Falling asleep xoxo

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